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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  January 15, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EST

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bain, bain, go away, come again some other day. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off, tonight's forecast, heavy bain. newt says he won't stop. he's going after romney for his work at bain capital. a lot of conservatives have decided to cease and desist, but he's decided this is what he can do to mitt. it's now or never for evangelicals, for anyone to stop mitt romney but who? we may find out this weekend.
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pacman. stephen colbert says he may run for president, handing his super pac to jon stewart, of course. he's making a bigger statement here, super pacs like the ones mitt romney is making are not independent. oops, he did it again. believe it or not, once again, rick perry can't remember the three government departments he wants to eliminate. funny. most people can think of at least one candidacy they'd like to eliminate. and let me finish with my ten-week tour of america. we begin with romney's time at bain capital. former gingrich spokesman now with the super pac winning the future who is putting out the ads against romney. great to have you on. how do you get a job running a super pac? i know i'm going for information here and actual news, but how do you -- did newt call you up, someone who knows newt who knows the guy who knows newt, how does
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it happen that you become a pacman? >> well, i was interested in helping newt. when i decided to help newt and i new there was a pac formed to help newt and i knew who was doing it, i made a phone call to see if i could help. that's how it happened. these pacs are an abomination. we should go back to the old way of letting candidates raise the money, and quit the shell game. that would make these pacs obsolete. >> does your pac intend to help gingrich defeat mitt romney in south carolina? is that the goal of your pac? >> yes, it is. apparently it's having some affect. three polls have newt, two of which within the margin of error -- he's in second place now in south carolina and so we have a straight-up race between a southern georgia conservative and a massachusetts moderate. >> should be interesting. campaigning today in miami, newt
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gingrich continuing his attacks on romney. let's watch. >> the only place he worked was bain. he claims he created 100,000 jobs. "the washington post" two days ago reported in their fact check column that he gets three pinocchios. now, a pinocchio is what you get from the "post" about not telling the truth. we thought about doing an ad where the nose gets longer. three would be a long nose but we won't do that. but i just challenge governor romney. release the records. show us the facts. you can't hide -- you can't run for president, have half your campaign be about your great achievements, and then hide them. >> here's your south carolina ad running -- now, that's attacking romney's career at bain taken from a full-length movie that gingrich called it in for its inaccuracies. >> a group of corporate raiders let by mitt romney, the company
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was bain capital, more ruthless than wall street. >> pulled the rug out from our plant. >> everybody was fired. >> they fired people, cut benefits, sell assets. >> mitt romney, them guys, they don't care who i am. >> i feel this is a man that destroyed us. >> winning our future is responsible for the content of this message. >> well, your response for the content, are you happy with its accuracy, rick, because there are reports there are actually people who have been quoted actually shown on camera in that documentary who have later said, recently said, they were taken out of context and they don't like the way it's being shown. >> well, we're checking into that because we want to get it right and we've checked and double-checked and we'll have a response and we want to honor newt gingrich's call that if it's inaccurate we'll make the adjustments. right now we're standing by the film.
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>> let me ask you about gingrich as a person. i got to interview him last week. i find him impossible to figure out. he will say the most terrible things, especially about anybody who gets in his way, chris dodd ought to be in prison, barney frank ought to be in prison. he says this horrible stuff. then when you sit down with him, he's got a very smart brain, a great sense of history. how do you put together, i'll say it, the good, bad and ugly of newt gingrich. >> chris, i think you once called him the devil incarnate. >> i called it. it didn't seem to bother him. >> i've never met anyone like newt gingrich. he doesn't hold grudges. he can be very confrontational when he needs to be, but basically i've found him to be a very caring individual. i think of he and callista and their family like my family. they never sort of separated me aside and said you're staff. i attended their wedding. i've gone to their grandchildren's birthday parties. i just love and admire the
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gingriches. i feel isolated because i'm in this pac and shouldn't communicate with them. >> this is romney's super pac. take a look at this one. this is the ad going after your guy gingrich. >> newt gingrich's attacks are called foolish, out of bounds and disgusting. newt attacks because he has more baggage than the airlines. newt was fined $300,000 for ethics violations, took $1.6 million from freddie mac and co-sponsored a bill with nancy pelosi that would have given $60 million a year to a u.n. program supporting china's brutal one-child policy. don't be fooled by newt's desperate attacks. restore our future is responsible for the content of this message. >> so, rick, newt gingrich, your candidate, has given money to help the chinese limit their families to one child.
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you know, that's pretty -- is that true or not? it doesn't sound true. >> not to my knowledge. doesn't sound like newt gingrich to me. does it to you? people in south carolina know newt gingrich. it shouldn't be surprising. mitt romney's campaign is based on misleading utterances at odds with his record. it shouldn't be surprising. yesterday i read in the huffington post that the net net number of 100,000 jobs only included the positive jobs and not the negative jobs. while he's got staples and sports authority that sell imported products from mostly china, manufactured overseas, he doesn't count the jobs where he took apart the companies and sent their jobs overseas. so i suppose that's fitting. >> you got your shot in there. we'll see. most of that ad we saw against it was accurate except for the chinese part, right? >> i don't think anything was accurate. >> you didn't mention anything. he was fined. he was reprimanded. >> no, no, no, no. chris, he was reprimanded. i'll tell you why.
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because he put his name to a legal document prepared by counsel that described a political action committee as a foundation. now, in most of the rest of the country that would require a phone call to say isn't go-pac a political action committee. instead, in washington it's a $300,000 investigation. to put it behind him, he paid for the investigation and out of his own pocket. i'd call that a new standard of ethics, not a low in ethics. >> you're a good defender. please come back. >> thank you. >> even though you don't coordinate with newt gingrich, it's nice of you endorsing him. susan page is washington bureau chief for "usa today" who has no candidate in this race and never has that i know of. this thing is, he laughs about it, it's almost like stephen colbert making a joke. we'll talk about him later in the show. this adds to the citizens united people who watch this program know what's going on. they see the ads, they're slamming the other guy, trashing
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the other guy, and they don't say at the end, i'm newt gingrich and paid for this ad or mitt romney. there's no honesty here. >> no transparency. there's so many of these ads, $3.4 million in south carolina from the gingrich pac and more than that from restore our future. >> 2.2 for the pro-romney, 1.9 for pro-perry, 750,000 for the santorum, and one-third of a million for paul. >> it's not that big of a state. you turn on the tv you'll just get a barrage of ads telling you what's wrong with the candidates. coming up, it's now or never for evangelicals but they want to stop mitt romney. they don't agree on which of the guys they should go against him. in fact, that also includes ron paul who is very pro-life. they don't know where to go. they may divide up and let mitt romney win this whole shebang. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. when i grow up,
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back to "hardball." this weekend in a private ranch outside houston the evangelical community will meet to beat romney. it's a long shot. richard lan is president of the ethics and religious liberty commission of the southern baptist convention. he used a dating analogy to describe the problem. >> before we marry the guy next door, don't you think we ought to have a fling with a tall, dark stranger and see if he can support us in the manner to which we'd like to be accustomed? and if he can't? we can always marry the steady beau who lives next door. >> executive producer john reese
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had to explain this to me. the steady beau next door in this parable is mitt romney. well, can the group of evangelicals really affect the gop race? dr. robert jones heads the nonpartisan public institute and melinda is a political reporter for "the washington post." well, here we go. what's going to happen? i like this new term, mitt romney calls it a quiet room somewhere to do tax policy. now we'll have a quiet ranch where you do religion policy. >> i think this shows the decline of an older model of elite power brokering that has seen its heyday. gone are the days that a group of men are going to sit in a room and decide who the candidate is going to be. let's look where this is happening, right before south carolina. this the last stand, it really
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is a triage kind of emergency meeting. >> does this bother -- they're all protestants i believe, they have about two catholics to choose from, the convert, just to be funny, newt gingrich or the longtime, life-long catholic rick santorum. it's not the ideal circumstances. >> the evangelical turned catholic or catholic turned evangelical. >> you are a pro. is that going to be the conundrum so they don't have to pick the mormon? how much of it is mormon? >> that's a very good question. mitt romney has failed to sew it up time and time again. we've seen candidates come up and down. it really is certainly on the issues. >> when has he come down? when has he come down? >> romney's been pretty steady, but he hasn't been -- what i'm saying is he hasn't been able to lock it down with the candidates surging to the top. one reason is he has issues with evangelicals. half of them say they'd be at least somewhat uncomfortable with a mormon president. and they don't think mormons christians. >> but two-thirds of protestants and catholics believe the church
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of jesus christ of latter-day saints is christian. so it's only the evangelicals in their own world single out the lds church, mormon church as not being part of the christian faith. >> but if you look at how they say they'll vote, they say they'll vote in equal numbers with other republicans. i think the thing is -- >> you mean when it comes to a choice between obama and -- >> yes. in the general, their turnout rates will be the same from what i see. i think they want to be taken seriously, they want to seem like they're still players. they're really not. >> i hate to be blunt and gross. but if they don't have money to put ads on the tv in this world, they don't count. >> certainly compared to the super pacs. >> they're not going to drop a couple million bucks in florida. let's take a look, family research council is organizing that texas meeting, says, quote, some have portrayed this as an anti-romney rally, a bash mitt weekend. it is not. what's driving it is discomfort with mitt romney among evangelicals and the search for another candidate. that's an easy way to say, i
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don't like the guy, but it sounds better. >> right. >> is it religion or is it philosophy? >> i think for evangelicals. you're right to single them out. for white evangelicals in the south, it is the discomfort on -- some of it is certainly issues, issues where they perceive a flip-flop, it really does come down to a serious issue with theology. >> but he's doing better with the evangelicals than you would have thought. >> he leads with likely republican voters in south carolina who identify themselves as born-again christians. here's the breakdowns among evanglicals, the born-again people, fundamentalist faiths, romney 35%, santorum at 22, gingrich at 20, paul at 15, perry at 3! the guy is making the biggest deal with his religion. the new hampshire exit polls show among evangelicals there, romney got 31, far ahead of santorum, paul and gingrich. iowa evangelicals went for santorum, paul got 18, gingrich,
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perry and romney were tied at 14%, and bachmann got only 6. here's a wild idea, though people have religious faith, they render to caesar the things to caesar and god the things to god. there is no way to predict someone's vote by religion. i look at those numbers, and i say romney is doing better among evangelicals than anybody else. >> they want to win. they want to win. i've heard from voters over and over again, yeah, he wouldn't -- would he be my first choice? no. but my first choice is somebody who can beat obama. >> they don't have a first choice. >> that's right. it's too late for them to come up with a first choice. >> they don't have a candidate. >> even if they did, they really want to win in the fall, and i've heard people say, look, i realize i don't have the luxury anymore of being a single issue voter on abortion. this here, i'm a republican who wants my candidate. >> and if rick perry wasn't just a balloon, if they had blown him up to the size -- he looked great.
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rick perry is a governor, he looks great, like a texan, great hair, all you need in politics. he had a record of unemployment going down in texas, creating jobs. he talked right. the minute he got on stage, he stumbled. and he's protestant i should say. >> it's more complex than that. let's think about mike huckabee. we had mike huckabee. if there ever were a ready-made evangelical candidate -- >> but he had no money. >> right. he had an electability problem. >> and he did an awesome job with the two cents he had. >> can i ask you a really good question? i'm very much for religious tolerance and i don't like this conversation. i had to do it. it's my job. did jack kennedy being catholic have anything to do with what he did? did richard nixon being a quaker have anything to do with being president? does religion guide, your particular affiliation, you really to your policies? >> yeah. >> you say yeah. yes or no? >> when we do the research,
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partisanship -- after 1972 and into reagan years partisanship matters more than religious affiliation. >> thank you, dr. jones. i remember that name from indiana jones. and melinda, thank you. up next, oops. rick perry has done it again. this is really unbelievable. it's only three. it's only three, and he can't get it straight. wait until you catch him doing it again. this is unbelievable. you're watching "hardball" friday night on msnbc. ♪ is it fast? it's got 10 speeds, my friend. ♪ is it fast? it's got a lightning bolt on it, doesn't it? ♪ is it fast? i don't even know if it's street-legal. ♪ is it safe? oh, yeah. it's a volkswagen. [ male announcer ] the security of a jetta. one of nine volkswagen models named a 2012 iihs top safety pick. ♪ got you in a stranglehold, baby ♪ challenge that.
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more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive. back to "hardball." now for the "sideshow." first up, opening old wounds. mccain and huckabee may have opted to stay out of the 2012 presidential race but that doesn't mean there isn't lingering tension between the two former opponents. the charge? that during the last primary season mccain encouraged former tennessee governor fred thompson
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to stay in the race and thereby split the social conservative vote in south carolina and give mccain the upper hand. here's huckabee leveling the charge yesterday morning. >> here's what happened. i mean, john certainly encouraged fred to stay in. i think everyone understood fred knew that he was not going to get the nomination. fred thompson's vote totals in the upstate really took into ours and john won handily in the south part around charleston. that's ultimately what did it. >> okay. >> but that's politics. >> you think john mccain, knowing him, let that one go? far from it. here he is hitting back just a few hours later. >> it's totally patently false and for him to say something like that, maybe it makes him feel better but it's not the truth. the fact is that fred thompson was viewed as a viable candidate. it is not necessarily so that he took all of huckabee's votes. i had a lot of votes there. all i can say to governor huckabee, good luck in your programming on fox, but you're
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not telling the truth. >> anyway, this morning fred thompson denied making any arrangement with john mccain. this time around it's mitt who could sneak away with a win if conservatives don't pick one and just one of their own instead of dividing the vote. mccain took a break from sparring with huckabee to sit down with david letterman discussing among other things how his party is faring in the lead-up to this 2012 election. let's watch. >> how do you think things are going for your party, the grand old party? how's it going, senator? >> well, we've had better days. >> it seems now like everybody has gone wacky in the republican party. i just wondered, was it the influence of the tea party, or am i overexamining this? >> you're overexamining it as usual. how many people have watched one of these debates? i bet you everybody in this -- it's good for the process. it's to see whether somebody is a wacko or whether they're not a wacko. >> no shortage there.
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>> in fairness, we are down a few cast members in the republican clown show since it got underway. but speaking of that, oops! he did it again. it will be a long time before any of us forget this tragic moment for rick perry. >> the third agency of government i would do away with, education, the -- the commerce and let's see -- i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> oops. and, as we all know now, the missing link was the department of energy. old story, right? well, during a radio appearance in south carolina today, today, early today, perry took another shot at it and missed. let's listen. >> three right off the bat. commerce, interior and energy are three that you think of right off the bat. >> interior? well, that's the first time interior has made that kill list.
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and what happened to education? that's what makes me think he's not even giving this thing much thought at all. perry, you keep oopsing again. and that's "hardball" again. up next, "your business" with jj ramberg. [ woman ] i was ready for my trip. but my smile wasn't. [ female announcer ] new crest 3d white intensive professional effects whitestrips. it goes below he enamel surface to whiten as well as a five-hundred dollar professional treatment. wow, that's you? [ female announcer ] new intensive professional effects whitestrips.
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